Europe 69 AD: Revolt of the Batavi
In August 69 the Danube legions declared for Vespasian (in Egypt), invading Italy and defeating the Roman emperor Vitellius at the Second Battle of Bedriacum in October. Meanwhile, on the Rhine, the Batavi and allied tribes—including many veteran auxiliary troops—rose up against Vitellius’ attempts to forcibly conscript them, defeating two Roman legions. The Batavi held out for a year, finally surrendering to Vespasian’s forces in 70 AD.
Jul 69–?? 70 AD Revolt of the Batavi▲
Under orders of Emperor Vitellius to raise more troops in the face of Vespasian’s rebellion (July 69 AD), the corrupt Roman administration in lower Germania pressured the Batavi of the Rhine delta to supply many more conscripts than their treaty obligations, brutally seizing young and old alike. Having already fallen out with Vitellius, Gaius Julius Civilis—commander of the Batavian auxiliary troops and a veteran of 25 years’ service in the Roman army—seized the opportunity to lead the Batavi in revolt, defeating two Roman legions and uniting local tribes and auxiliary forces under his leadership. The Batavi and their allies maintained their independence for over a year, eventually agreeing to surrender after Vespasian sent in his army in 70 AD.
Aug 69 AD Flavian Revolt on Danube▲
The three legions in Moesia had been loyal to Otho in his war with Vitellius and became fearful of retribution following the latter’s victory. When Vespasian was proclaimed emperor in Alexandria (July 69 AD), they quickly declared for him and soon persuaded the other Danube legions—in Illyricum and Noricum—to join them as they marched on Rome under the leadership of Marcus Antonius Primus. The Roman client states on the middle Danube also sided with Vespasian.
69 AD Dacian War of 69▲
During the civil war between Vitellius and Vespasian, the Flavians (supporters of Vespasian) withdrew legions from Moesia to march on Rome. As soon as they learned that the Flavians were embroiled in Italy, the Dacians poured across the Danube, storming the winter quarters of the Roman auxiliary troops and making to destroy the legions’ camps. However, they were thwarted when the Sixth Legion arrived under Mucianus, who, learning of the Flavian victories at Bedriacum and Cremona, had felt able to rush to the border.
??–Oct 69 AD Anicetus’ Revolt▲
After Rome’s Asian provinces sided with Vespasian in mid-69 AD, Anicetus—a former prefect of the (Roman?) fleet—incited an uprising in Pontus in the name of the emperor Vitellius. Raiding Trapezus (Trabzon) and massacring a cohort there, Anicetus escaped by sea with his followers and began conducting pirate raids in the Black Sea. Vespasian sent a detachment to deal with this menace, capturing Anicetus taking refuge with the Sedochezi (in Colchis) in October.
24 Oct 69 AD Second Battle of Bedriacum▲
In the fall of 69 AD six Roman legions under the command of Gaius Licinius Mucianus and Marcus Antonius Primus moved from the Danube provinces into northern Italy in support of Vespasian against Emperor Vitellius. After capturing Verona and inciting the Adriatic fleet to rebel at Ravenna, they marched towards Cremona but were met by an army of six opposing legions under the command of Aulus Caecina Alienus at Bedriacum. After battling into the evening, Antonius defeated Caecina, advancing to sack and burn Cremona the following day.